The mosaic vaccine HIV-1 vaccine produced comparable immune responses in both humans and rhesus monkeys, a phase I/IIa trial found. This new vaccine aims to protect people from nearly all strains of the virus.
The human participants, from Thailand, South Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda, ranged in age from 18 to 50 years.
There may be a glimmer of hope in the fight to protect people from HIV-1, the most widespread type of the virus and the one that causes the most disease globally.
All of the vaccines prompted anti-HIV immune responses in the participants, the results revealed.
Researchers, including those from Harvard Medical School in the United States, found that the "mosaic" vaccine, created by combining pieces of different HIV viruses, is well-tolerated and generated comparable and robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults and rhesus monkeys.
Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 1.8 million new cases every year.
"Implementation of even a moderately effective HIV vaccine together with the existing HIV prevention and treatment strategies is expected to contribute greatly to the evolving HIV/AIDS response", the editorial continued.
Decades, scientists around the world tirelessly searched, tried, created, was disappointed, tried again and again to find a way to overcome the most awful virus the XXI century - the human immunodeficiency virus.
Some researchers explain that the vaccine is not a solution to the virus, which even if it induces an immune response to HIV, it can not prevent humans from getting the virus.
"These results represent an important milestone", Barouch said when speaking with BBC News. Further, Barouch, the Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, added, "We have to acknowledge that developing an HIV vaccine is an unprecedented challenge, and we will not know for sure whether this vaccine will protect humans".
Researchers are telling that two-thirds of monkeys tested were protected against the virus like HIV. In the phase one clinical trial, researchers focused on HIV-1. This is called a "mosaic" of vaccines.
The next planned phase of the study is set to provide the vaccine to 2,600 young women from southern Africa (presumably some of whom may be in high-risk exposure groups) to see if the vaccine can actually prevent people acquiring HIV infection. We can not say anything on a note as the majority of studies which are done on the animals prove to be wrong when seen in humans. This immune response could protect the humans from the infection.
This study was funded by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, US National Institutes of Health, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, US Department of Defense, and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The mosaic is one of five vaccines to ever make it this far in the testing stages, but none of the previous vaccines were successful enough to make it to the next round of testing. In early human trials the vaccine has been found to be safe in humans.
More than 80% of people who received this version also showed positive signs for 2 other measures of immune response. Partly because there are so many different HIV strains.